The world lost a giant in the faith this week. Ravi Zacharias went to be with Jesus after a swift battle with cancer. I have been teary-eyed for the last several weeks as I prayed for his final days at home. I imagined what it must have been like to say good-bye to his last visitors and to interact with his wife, children and grandchildren while knowing he would be missing their futures. I also wondered what it was like for him to be alone at times reflecting on how he had spent his life.
This is where my tears most flowed.
Like Timothy, Ravi could say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
Ravi had given it all he had.
After accumulating decades of frequent flyer miles, speaking to countless people around the world, spending untold hours preparing for talks and debates, and accepting invitations to speak in venues filled with those who loved him, as well as those who were hostile, he did it.
Ravi lived his life for eternity.
We are here for eternity, and He alone is able to take us through the cross, past the open tomb into the very presence of God. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love Him. @ravizacharias Passion Conferences
Ravi’s obituary states, “Meeting the thinker face-to-face was an intrinsic part of Zacharias’s ministry, with post-event Q&A sessions often lasting long into the night.” I have not been on Twitter for over a year, but I signed in this week to participate in #ThankYouRavi:
I regularly climb on YouTube to catch the latest RZIM campus events with Q&A’s. Honestly, Q&A’s are my favorite. The way Ravi responded so kindly to any and all exemplified Colossians 4:6 more than anyone I have ever seen. Smart, yes. Effective, yes. Kind, most.
It was stunning to watch him listen to the questions of the hostile, or those fragile with doubt and confusion, with nothing but a kind gaze. Then he would answer with a perfect blend of tenderness, confidence and truth. Moods would shift. His kindness commanded respect. He poured out his entire self for people.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
I am so grateful God sees in terms of percentages, not results.
It would be easy to look at the magnificent and visible impact Ravi’s life has had on the earth and think we will never measure up to this level of surrender to Jesus. But God knows our hearts. He knows who gives a little out of their lot, and who gives a lot out of their little. He sees the honest comparison between those with a large Twitter following and those without an account. God knows who is truly beautiful as society celebrates only what can be seen with the eyes. I am not going to be famous, but Ravi’s life has reinvigorated me to leave it all behind, to show up in heaven like he did, having run this race well. What God does with my surrendered life is his business, but the decision of whether God gets my whole heart is my business.
Ravi gave Jesus his whole heart.
He was always the consummate gentleman in a suit, but he didn’t live safely. God was his safety. He ended this life with a body thoroughly used up and totally worn out by travel and illness, but it’s over. God’s promise of life after death has now been proven true. Jesus was worthy of Ravi’s faith, and He is worthy of ours.
Ravi, we will all rejoice with you one day when we finally have eyes to see all that God has done with your surrendered life — what God did with a boy born in India who struggled in school and questioned the value of his life — until God got His whole heart.
In this sense too, we can live like Ravi.
Picture Explanation: We have all gotten a reminder this week that life is short compared to eternity. Because of COVID-19, the women’s ministry summer study is online for the first time, so anyone can join us! Feel free to consider signing up using this link: One Gritty Blink: Focus on Eternity.
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